Restrictions lifted for some business zones in disaster area. Here’s the latest from the county

More areas of fire-ravaged Lahaina have been reopened to the public. On Wednesday, Maui County lifted restrictions for two business zones.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:48 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:18 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County has lifted restrictions for certain business zones in Lahaina’s disaster area on Wednesday morning.

Officials said as of 10 a.m., the public can now access “Zone 5B” and “Zone 5E” which encompasses the Lahaina Cannery Mall parcel and the business area of Kupuohi and Ulupono streets.

In addition, Parcels 5D and 5H were reported safe to enter last Thursday. They include businesses at Lahaina Gateway on the north side of Keawe Street and businesses in the Walgreens lot.

Officials say roadways to these zones are clear but the public should be aware of the hazards that remain when re-entering.

MORE: Interactive map shows re-entry updates for fire-impacted areas in Lahaina

The county says entry into the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster area remains prohibited unless authorized by law, due to health and safety risks and to protect against criminal property damage.

The county explained zones were created to facilitate a systematic and organized return into the disaster area while prioritizing public safety and the security of the community.

Meanwhile, Gov. Josh Green announced Tuesday in an interview with HNN’s Spotlight Now that Lahaina residents would soon be able to sign up for reservations to access their properties in the burn zone.

He said residents could potentially sign up as soon as Wednesday, but so far, no word yet on when that list will officially open.

Green also warn of the serious health hazards that remain within the soot and ash, and urges residents to wear protective gear.

Unsafe Water Advisory

An unsafe water advisory also remains in effect for Lahaina and parts of Kula. Click here to see if your address is under the water advisory.

The advisory was lifted for Zone 1 in Upper Kula on Tuesday after being determined as safe.

Officials are also reminding the public that sewer service is not working for many homes and businesses in fire-impacted areas.

They’re asking families not to flush toilets or let water into the drains until further notice.

They say in some cases, the toilet and drains may appear to be working just fine but it will start backing up because pump station are not working.

Crews are working to make repairs but no there’s no timeline yet of when work will be complete.

Air Quality

On Monday, the state Department of Health released raw air quality data from baseline air sampling conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency in Lahaina and Upcountry areas affected by the fires.

They say they released the data in the interest of transparency and are working to validate the data with an independent group.

Click here to view the preliminary, unvalidated data from DOH.

A smoke and dust advisory remains in effect for most fire-impacted areas on Maui. For air quality information, click here.

Fire Update

So far the Olinda fire is 90% contained and the Kula fire 95% contained. The Lahaina fire remains 100% contained.


Unaccounted-for Individuals

Green says the number of unaccounted for after the Lahaina wildfire now stands at 42 — down significantly from hundreds on the list weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the disaster stands at 115.

Of those, 68 have been officially identified — many using DNA technology.

Hazardous Material Removal

The EPA is continuing it’s work to survey, remove and dispose of hazardous material from properties affected by the wildfires in Lahaina and Upcountry.

As of Tuesday, EPA said nine teams in Lahaina are performing assessment and removal for Phase 1 of the cleanup. They’ve also removed toxic materials at 506 properties in Kula.

Officials say hazardous waste is being transported to the Ukumehame Firing Range, where it will be staged before being shipped to specialized sites on the U.S. continent for disposal.

Tom Dunkelman, EPA incident commander, said toxic materials being removed from Lahaina include batteries, solvent, pesticides and other toxic items that may pose a risk to people and the environment.

For more information on recovery assistance and re-entry data, visit “Maui Recovers” by clicking here.

To read the latest update from Maui County, click here.